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'House Hunters International' recap: The pathos of renting in Paphos, Cyprus

Watching House Hunters International, it’s easy to believe that you too could move to someplace wonderful like Paphos, Cyprus. A single mother with twin teens decides she can do it after 25 years in Manhattan. Manhattan is expensive. Surely she couldn’t have saved that much, allowing her to pick up her life and move there. It must be easy to move to Cyprus!

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Nope. Sorry. You need a darn good savings account to move to Cyprus with the promise not to live off of their “system” for the duration of your visit, until you’ve proven yourself and become a full-time resident, if that’s your wish. That means no job to support yourself.

That’s why a budget becomes so important. That’s also why it seems so incredible to make the move in the first place, from high-rise living in Manhattan to the opulence of a beautiful home with all the trimmings. On Talia’s wish list is a minimum of four bedrooms plus an office, an abundance of indoor/outdoor space with a pool, a modern space with sea views, and a location no more than 20 minutes from the international school. Alrighty, then!

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Cyprus2With a rental budget (the preference when moving to a new country is to purchase a residence, because the country sees it as a commitment to its homeland) of $3,000 per month, it seems like you can’t go wrong. Do a quick comparison to what you can rent in Manhattan for that price and you’ll see nifty 650-square-foot one-bedroom apartments. When someone gets the international bug, expectations suddenly rise, as if more for the money should be the norm. In Cyprus, it certainly turns out to be the case, but it’s not easy to satisfy international house hunters.

Right on budget and fully furnished, one house isn’t to taste. That’s probably typical when getting a fully furnished abode. Cyprus6What are the odds you’ll rent the house of your doppelgänger (the word is all the rage on TV — we’re rolling with it)? The real estate agent shows a house that could easily fit several Manhattan apartments, but while she listens to dissatisfaction with the room sizes, the music merrily plinks away as if we were watching an old-time silent movie. The agent’s large, liquid eyes flutter as she suggests perhaps the rooms are only small in comparison to where the renter comes from. At the resounding “no,” she appears close to tears.

How’s this for indoor/outdoor space? It appears that eating is a big thing for the citizens of Cyprus, and they make sure they have ample space to do it, in fine fashion inside and outside. Simply stunning, no?

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The narrator says that Cyprus is experiencing a booming economy because the country has learned from past mistakes. It’s surging forward, promising to never look back. From the modern structures popping up amidst the many historical landmarks, it’s definitely a unique combination of past and present. I mean, look at this bathroom. And then there’s a castle!

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It’s always difficult to know if what we’re seeing is indicative of the island as a whole or representative of the house hunter’s taste, but the contemporary style of the structure and furniture are completely different from any new builds we can get for the price in the United States. Since U.S. houses tend toward a cookie-cutter look as new neighborhoods pop up, the three houses featured in this episode of House Hunters International also start to feel the same. They’re a lot more opulent and have far more features than your average U.S. home, but how soon would it become boring? Hang on a minute. Let’s take a look at what “boring” really entails.

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Oh, who am I kidding? When I’m swimming in my beautiful pool, rinsing off in my outdoor stone shower before having a bite to eat from the large grilling patio, then retiring to my living room with a two-sided fireplace to overlook the Mediterranean Sea, I don’t expect any of you to feel sorry for me for going over my $3,000 monthly budget to achieve heaven on earth. I don’t think Talia, Lev and Zarra really expect that either. They’re living the dream. Would you give up your Stateside living for a day on the Mediterranean eating fresh sushi?

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If you’re living the dream, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Is it an easy transition or difficult? Do you miss the States, or have you never looked back? Do you want a new friend?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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